Dog Days

Darcy and ShadowWe’re in the “Dog Days of Summer”.  The scorching, humid days and sultry, sleepless nights are upon us.  Sirius, “The Dog Star” (Brightest star in our night sky. -1.46 magnitude, part of the constellation Canis Major or “The Greater Dog”), rises in the morning sky close to sunrise during the warmest days of late July and early August – thus – the “Dog Days”.

Homer, first and greatest of the epic Greek poets (no – not Homer, the father on “The Simpson’s) wrote in his Iliad “like to the star that cometh forth at harvest-time, and brightly do his rays shine amid the host of stars in the darkness of night, the star that men call by name the Dog of Orion.  Brightest of all is he, yet withal is he a sign of evil, and bringeth much fever upon wretched mortals.”

When I was a kid, I used to think the “Dog Days of Summer” were when all the dogs went crazy from the heat, broke loose and ran all over the neighborhood.  What REALLY happened was owners brought their dogs into their garages and homes to give them shelter from the heat.  Many times when doors were opened, the dogs would bolt and run the neighborhoods.  You really can’t blame the dogs for wanting to create some relative wind!  There are now laws against leaving dogs tied out during abusively hot or frigid weather.

I’ll bet being stuck outside, tied to a tree all night in bad weather would be pretty miserable.  I’ve been in “the dog house a few times myself”.  I know working like a dog in sweltering heat can leave me feeling “dog tired” or “sick as a dog”.  If you get enough seniority at work, you eventually get to be “top dog”.  This might even mean you get to work in an air conditioned space which would make you a “lucky dog”.  Frankly though, I feel like a lucky dog much of the time even without cold air.

The 2014 3-D computer animated movie “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” recreates the classic cartoon from the 1960’s.   Sherman was a brilliant dog who was also a scientist and Sherman was his apprentice and also his pet.  In the Dreamworks 2014 movie, Sherman is Mr. Peabody’s adopted son.  A brilliant moment in the movie comes when a case worker from Child Services says “A dog is unfit to raise a boy!”.  At this point, Sherman lists all Mr. Peabody’s good qualities and then proclaims “I’m a dog too” followed by various historical characters proclaiming they are also “dogs”.  I wonder if Sherman’s faithfulness made him the “Alpha Dog?”

There are Biblical references to dogs.  Matthew 7:6 says “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.  If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”  It sounds like God doesn’t love dogs!  But, if I’m dog too like Sherman, I still want to be loved and accepted.  Good thing for us “dog’s” there’s Matthew 15:26-28 “And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”  Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.”  And her daughter was healed at once.”  As they say ”Every dog has its day”.

© 2015 Curt Savage Media

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